Saturday, February 4, 2012

Power! More Power!

Russian word for the day:

"идиот" Dance Coach mutters under his breath, after a teenager rams into him while we were doing Killian hold inside swing rolls, then speeds off. It wasn't an accident, it was deliberate. I missed my one chance to legitimately say "The little  ублюдок" before coach streaks after him and gives him a talking too. It's a typical day on a Saturday public session in mid-winter; lots of ice tourists, hockey boys, and three coaches with students in the center. Amusingly, Dance Coach keeps skating us directly at Moves Coach but very carefully skates us around everyone else.  I finally found out why. Some years ago, Moves Coach was demonstrating a jump and did the landing glide directly into Dance Coach's leg, leaving a walloping big bruise.  Apparently, he's still seeking revenge.

I hab a code in de head. A code! A code I tell you! I'm slowly filling up the trash can in the hockey box with phlegm filled tissues, but Dance Coach shows no mercy. He starts off the lesson with zippy elements in foxtrot hold, then rapidly goes back and forth between killian and reverse killian doing inside and outside swing rolls, forward stroking, progressives, chasse's, and every other dance element he can think of. Then we start on elements of the Cha-Cha and the Swing Dance. He thinks I can't tell what's going on, but I can. We're going fast, really fast -- for me.

Finally, I back him up to a blue line, "You're trying to make me skate with more power without telling me, aren't you?"

The look on Dance Coach's face was the following:
Dance Coach's  'expressionless' face
So, yes, even though he doesn't say anything, I know my answer.
Power! More Power!
Getting more power in these new dance boots is tricky. The dance boots aren't exactly hinky, but I have to  be very precise with my blade placement when I do the strike. The boots are unforgiving of any error in the angle of the blade when it hits the ice. Still, I only have a couple of instances where I jerk forward. Not bad for a beginner. 

For the swing rolls and slide chasse's I'm supposed to bring my foot higher, point it harder, and keep my back straight, head up and look like I'm having a good time while keeping my thighs together and not thinking of how big they are.  I'd be more sarcastic about this, but actually it works pretty well. Then we do back swing rolls, back chasse's and back stroking in waltz hold. By 'back', I mean I'm going backwards. This is actually rather relaxing, all I have to do is keep my arms stiff (but not rigid) and my weight slightly back of the rocker while moving my legs and feet appropriately. I'm along for the ride. Dance Coach is  driving me like a truck. If I have my body correctly aligned, and the hold solid, he could skate me as fast as he wants. I just stare at his chest, move my feet and legs appropriately and mentally plan a grocery list.

Finally, we start doing three turns in Waltz hold. "Skate between my legs, " Dance Coach tells me. As will be seen in the next few sentences, there's a reason he's making that odd statement. "Not to the left of me, not to the right to me. Skate directly at me as if you are aiming between my legs." For a moment I flash back to the time I fell backwards and toe picked Coach in the 'inner thigh' right before his wedding. But what he's telling me is typical waltz 3 advice, the lady skates directly at the coach. Apparently, I have not been doing this adequately, hence the  inadvertently risqué tone to the advice.  We do a few waltz 3's and Dance Coach is pleased.   I'm not skidding or going around him. We do several waltz 3s in a row successfully without me becoming dizzy. Just don't ask me to do more than 3 one right after another. 

As we finish with the waltz 3 exercise, we stop short of a half dozen 13 year old girls, all legs and giggles.  With his wavy Russian ice dancer hair, and good looks he's very striking and the effect on unsophisticated teenagers is amusing. They're staring at Dance Coach in awe. A few minutes later I see them trying to figure out how to do the waltz hold with each other.  

We end with a few rounds of Obstacle Course Canasta Tango around the dozens of people on the ice, "With power," coach says.  We zip right along and don't hit anyone. The kid who blindsided Dance Coach at the beginning of the lesson, carefully stays out of our way. He's pestering other people, so I just death glare at him occasionally to keep in practice. 

Am I going faster? Yes. Is it scary? Not if I'm in hold. I have complete confidence in Dance Coach's preservation skills. Even when idiot kid rammed into Dance Coach when we were deep into inside swing rolls, Dance Coach didn't budge. It was like a fly ramming a mountain, Dance Coach is that solid a skater. So I have complete faith in him. Am I going scary fast alone? No. Scary fast alone is a long time in the future. I want to gradually work up to it.

Whatever. I'll get over it.


  1. I started thinking wow can I date your dance coach? Then you broke the news (again) that he's recently married. Sigh.

    Lurve that cat picture.

  2. The 'obstacle course Canasta Tango' is making me laugh. I know that dance rather too well, except I'm doing it on a freestyle session dodging random camel spins, unidentifiable learner jumps, pair skaters, dance teams doing lifts, and kamikaze children.

    Bunny Hop